Given the economic situation in the country, the Federal Government had made arrangement to turn the properties seized from the treasury looters into government offices. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that the Federal Government plans to relocate some of its Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDA) into some recovered looted properties. Mrs. Adeosun said this in Abuja after the Steering Committee of the Efficiency Unit meeting.The government says in the last one year it has seized billions of Naira in cash and properties from corrupt public officials.
The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers had been advocating for adequate utilisation of confiscated properties. Mrs. Adeosun said the move to relocate the agencies was to reduce waste since the properties were empty. “The issuance of price guidelines and initiatives for reducing expenditure on rent on office and residential buildings will be the primary focus areas of the efficiency unit in coming months.“ You may want to know that the average annual expenditure on rent for a three year period of 2012 to 2014 was N3.55 billion. And to achieve that, we are already looking at using properties that were forfeited from recoveries and moving some of our agencies to occupy those properties rather than paying rent,’’ she said.
Mrs. Adeosun said the Efficiency unit had already recorded success in cutting government overhead cost in areas such as travels, welfare, honorarium, sitting allowance, training, adverts and publicity as well as refreshments. “Major savings are expected when on-going engagement with the Bureau of Public Procurement on the pooling of MDAs demands for standard products such as vehicles, computers, diesel and others. “We plan to secure large discounts from suppliers and the issuance of Price Guidelines are developed and implemented. Price Guidelines will ensure uniformity in the price at which MDAs purchase items, as well as transparency and value for money in the procurement process.’’
Mrs. Adeosun said she was working with states to ensure that they all established Efficiency Unit since 47.32 per cent of revenue that accrued to the federation goes to the States and local governments. President Buhari had set up the Efficiency Unit to review all Federal Government’s overhead expenditure to reduce wastage, promote efficiency and ensure quantifiable savings for the country. The Minister of Finance, Head of Service of the Federation, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and Director, Budget Office of the Federation are members of the committee.